Tuesday, February 7, 2012

OY VE!!!Q&A Tuesday---Betsy answers it all!!! (sort of)

Today is the third installment of the answer part of OY VEY!!! Q&A!!! TUESDAY.

We will (I will) start with the first question, as that's a really good place to start.......
But first, a pretty picture for the blog rolls.......

Just a note, before I get to the questions.....
Once again, blogger is messing up the spacing of my lines of text. So if you're wondering why I have designed it this way.....I DIDN'T!!!!!

Question #1

Starr @ The Kiefer Cottage has left a new comment on your post "OY VEY!!! Q&A!!! Tuesday": 

My linky is number 1. 

We are in the midst of a quasi-kitchen-makeover. We will not be knocking down walls, re-doing any electrical/lighting, nor replacing any cabinets at this time. 

But we are dying for some color recommendations. The room is a cave (2 small north facing windows), and it's many different shades of wood. We are having to paint over the wallpaper because I tried to remove some, and the plaster came with it. We have already painted a portion of the walls with white primer. I like the idea of doing at least two colors (one on the wallpaper, one on the paneling), but I don't want anything too soft or boring...unless you tell me I should just do white and be happy about it since this room is just too dark to handle anything else.

We're also going to paint the cabinets as well as the fireplace, so any feedback would be great. Thanks! --Starr 


Painting the cabinets white is going to make a HUGE difference!!!!!
If you save up some money, changing the handles 
and knobs would be nice too.
You can't go wrong with a simple bin pull and knob like these.......
The Atlas Homewares Euro-Tech Bin Cup Pull is 3.75 inches wide and is available in five finishes. Shown in polished chrome; $8.29 at Amazon.

As for painting the fireplace, use a semigloss paint in the same color white as the cabinets.
Give the black metal a really good cleaning to create a nice sharp contrast to the white.

As for the paneling being a different color than the walls.....

I would pull the paneling off, save up some money, and then do an applied wood treatment like I did for my niece, Miriam. Like this.....

If that's more than you want to tackle, paint the fake wood paneling white, and choose a light color that works with your scheme on the top.
As for suggesting a color.....
How the hell can I do that, if I don't know what else  you are working around?????
I mean, there are a gagillion color choices out there!!!!
OK, now that I got that off my chest, let's see if I could be a little more helpful.
Decide what color family you like, go to the paint store and choose several colors in slightly different tints (darknesses... is there such a word?)
Buy the smallest size paint samples they will sell you,
then try them out on your wall. 
That's as helpful as I can be without going to your house, and I'm not leaving to go anywhere!!!!

Question #2

Hey I just joined your blog via email. Will you be injecting your answers for questions here in your comment section ( which is great then can read others answers) or will it be by you sending email back to them? Also I know shades of Oranges are in for 2012 what are the other top colors?




Well, obviously, I am not injecting my answers in 

the comment section, or emailing them back.....

But answering them in this blog post. (I am such 

a smart alack!!)

As to the top colors for 2012.......

I don't follow trends, I SET THEM!!!!!!!

Seriously, though, I don't give a rats behind about color 


You are decorating your HOME people, not a @#$ 


Question #3

Thanks for answering questions. I wouldn't know where to go to ask anyone else. 

We will be moving in the next two years and I am getting this house ready to sell. In the master bath we have a 5 ft. counter with one sink on one end but plumbing for a second on the other end. I would rather have the counter space.

Should we install the second sink or leave that for new owners? I know people like two sinks but for the life of me I don't know why.

As long as the real estate agent makes it clear to prospective buyers that there is plumbing for a second sink, I wouldn't spend the money on something that the next owner may not want. It is a simple enough project for  the new owners to add, and shouldn't be enough to spoil a sale.
After all, not everyone is a couple these days ('cuz I'm not), and the second sink in my master bath is a pain in my derriere. It's one more sink that needs to be cleaned, and the counter space that it takes up could be used to house more useless accessories.

Question #4
Hey Betsy,
I'm Cindy from Cindysfracturedfairytale... I tried to enter a photo for your advice, and i am clearly tooo freakin stupid to do it right, because i'm not sure if i cropped the photo the right way!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, i'll attach another photo of my mantel, it's an inset gas fireplace, and believe me i'd love to have a real fireplace, but i don't,  and the way the wall is,  everything always looks just wrong or off center, and i'm kind of a symmetry person...   the photo i sent had candlesticks and these new crystal sconce thingys that i was deciding if i liked  and just set up there with the candlesticks to see how they looked, except you can see that i don't have 4 matching shades either... geeeesh! , so ADHD....  anyway, I guess what i'm looking for is balance , or something... you can see how the wall is and then the stairs and the mantel, it's just a little wonky no matter what i do... and don't EVEN look at the pile of crap that i put on the stairs to carry up!
 I am quite a fan of the way you write on your blog, it's is perfectly, wonderfully irreverent... !



OK, there is a really easy solution to this problem.....
Welllll.....that wasn't really so helpful was it? 
This is a difficult situation, and the builder should be taken out back and shot.
I would take the white plates down.
I would take the large mirror down.
THEN.....I would do a big arrangement on the wall that used to hold the mirror, using the white plates and lots of smaller pictures. I would have it go from under the beam to around the height of the black part of the bottom of the fireplace. Pretty much filling the wall with hung stuff. This will create enough visual weight to balance the fireplace.
I commend you for adding the height of the candlesticks on the mantel, it helps with the lack of a back wall on the left side. I like the crystal scone thingies, maybe take off the second candlestick on the left.
However, I would move the pretty picture somewhere else, and find something that can be hung centered over the mantel. You need a more vertical narrow shape there, that is really what is throwing the symmetry off.

Question #5

I hate my fireplace. From the design to the color, its just plain ugly. It is 26 feet tall and juts out like
 a boats' bow into my living room. My husband suggested embracing its 'boatness' and putting a figurehead on the front! Hmm, no. It also has a big black pole in the middle, I suppose it is holding up all the bricks, so I know I am stuck with it. So, what is there to do? I am seeking your opinion. I know that I want mantels, one on each side. I also would love to redo the surface with river rocks or  faux stone, but we just cannot afford it right now. The question I am struggling with: Should I paint my fireplace??? Its a scary thing. I have heard for years that you should never paint a fireplace because the paint is so hard to remove. I have been looking around for pictures of painted fireplaces, and I still have not made a decision. So, if this was your ugly fireplace, what would YOU do?


Definitely go ahead and paint it!!!!!!

As for being afraid that one should never paint a

fireplace, because the paint would be hard to


Covering this brick permanently would only be a

kindness. It's begging for some paint
I mean, how would you like to go through life

looking like that??????? 

Question #6

Amy @MaisonDecor has left a new comment on your post "OY VEY!!! Q&A!!! Tuesday": 

Hi Betsy~ I do have Bloggers Back!! Ouch! Hubby got me a special support for my leopard chair in my office so I can continue fighting the good fight! I will be back with a question about how to decorate a piano!!! My piano in the living room~first I have to find a post showing it, then I want to ask what you would do on or around the area of the piano so it doesn't feel like it is off in a different zone. You ARE cool!! ANd you will have tons more followers than me quicker than you can imagine, sadly. 



I think that adding that green chair has really helped in 

incorporating the piano area into the rest of the living 

room. By including a place to sit by the piano,

it now relates to the conversation area around the sofa.

I also really like the height of the spray of flowers in 

tin flower can. However.....you're not getting off scott 

free. I would keep the number of small accessories

on top of the piano to a minimum. Lots of little stuff 

floating around a big black top ain't pretty. How

about a pile of coffee table books to the right

of the flowers????? with just a couple of pictures in


But it's definitely better than when I came to visit in 

the summer!!!!!

Now, I'm sorta starting to freak out, 'cuz there are so many more questions, and I just don't have the time to get to them. I will try to answer some more with each post in the next few days. Maybe the way to do that is answer one with each post. I don't know, I am just figuring this out as I go along!!!!



Cindy said...

Thanks Betsy, That was awesome! You're so so right about needing something vertical over the fireplace, i can "see it" now that you said that! That was so fun and such cool design advice, and for free! WOW! You made me laugh OUT LOUD AT WORK, when i'm supposed to be uhhhhh working and not reading blog posts...when you talked about that second fireplace!

Thank you again!

An Urban Cottage said...

I found your blog after I saw you tweet Amy yesterday. This was a very helpful and entertaining post. Loved it!

Sandy said...

I love your sense of humor! I'm laughing so hard from your answers. You have a wonderful way of communicating that is so refreshing. I'm glad I found your blog. You would have a ball with my home. I especially love the comment about taking the builder out back and shooting him. These builders never have to live with their design...at my house I have a laundry room so narrow if you open the dryer door it is right in front of the garage door and a refrigerator right next to a wall so the doors can't open all the way. Stupid...stupid...stupid. Thanks for making me laugh.

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Betsy,
This is so much fun. I love the questions and your answers. We are really lucky to have your wonderful advice and expertise, and for free!! LOL! Seriously though, you are the best.


Amy Chalmers said...

Thanks Betsy! I love this Q&A series and think I will always be looking for your designer's eye and view point on things that I struggle with. Always fun to read while we learn design basics!! Laughed so hard over the painting the brick question, picking a random color, your opinion on orange as the color of the year....keep it coming!!

Maureen Wyatt said...

Thank you for saying the things I want to say to clients. I have to be a leetle more polite. I so enjoy someone asking me a colour question over the phone! Could you do us all a favour and explain that the real brick fireplaces are not "real" brick unless there is a supporting structure below the floor? ~ Maureen

hong kong property said...

wow! can't wait for the next Q&A!

SLR said...

ooooh, i can't wait for the next Q&A sessions...i just discovered you were doing this! i hope to link up next week...
you crack me up with your answers, but they really are helpful too!

scone said...

It's really nice of you to give free decorating advice, but I think you are going to get overwhelmed. What if you offered a "design consulting" service, where the homeowner implements the solution, and then sends you photos for discussion on your blog? That way you would make a little cash out of it, and well deserved IMO.

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